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Newsletter 27 - The "Vortex" Concrete Mixing System

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Whether you are a company setting up in the concrete product manufacturing for the first time or an existing producer wishing to invest in technological innovation it is essential in the quest to produce high quality products that your raw material preparation is an efficient operation. In this respect Vortex Hydra market two different types of mixing systems, the first characterized by a cycle of batch mixing (planetary mixer) and the other from continuous mixing (continuous mixer). Both these plant types afford efficient mixing of the concrete, leaving selection to the peculiar works practices of the particular geographical area where they will be in operation. For example in Europe and the USA the planetary mixer is preferred whereas in South East Asia it is the continuous mixer. In the case of the planetary mixer the water, sand and cement are efficiently mixed in a ‘pan’ mixing chamber by a series of satellite blades rotating on an ever changing axis. Coloured concrete is obtained by adding an iron oxide pigment within the chamber. The continuous mixer is structured on ‘multiple’ units, the first of which is the dry mixing of the sand, cement and colour pigment by heavy duty plowshares rotating at high speed about a horizontal axis. The second stage allows for water to be added to the mix in a continuous horizontal mixer enabling a homogenized concrete mix to be produced. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the two types of mixing plants.

 

VORTEX PLANETARY MIXER OR PAN MIXER

  • - consistent quality of mix
  • - ease of raw material loading, mix preparation and discharge
  • - defined production capacity (not expandable)
  • - high power absorption
  • - higher ratio of kw/cu.m of mix produced
  • - longer mixing cycle times required when incorporating dry fibers in the mix
  •  - longer time needed to clean and maintain mechanical parts (arms and blades)
  • - civil preparation works for necessary prior to installation
  • - loss of mix in event of plant shut down

 

CONTINUOUS MIXER (FURTHER DETAILS CAN BE REVIEWED ON VORTEX NEWSLETTER 25 – EASY MIX)

  • - consistent quality of mix - easy to change color
  • - production capacity is expandable
  • - reduction of energy costs by up to 40%
  • - same cycle time when dry fibers are also incorporated in the mix
  • - ease of cleaning and maintenance of mechanical parts
  • - civil preparation works not necessary
  • - the sand should not be too wet during the dry mixing phase (max 3-4%) 
  • - twin mixing phases results in waste reduction the event of plant shutdown

Note: with the full ownership acquisition of the Australian company Globe Machines Pty Ltd. (refer to Vortex Newsletter 26), Vortex have now added the ‘Globe Belt’ type mixer to their range of concrete mixing plants.  With this system the sand and cement are dry mixed by a simple screw mixer with the water being subsequently added within a ‘belt’ conveyor mixing system. This type of concrete mixing is popular in Australia, USA and South East Asia as it allows a very fast colour change particularly when production of different colour mixes of only a few kilos are required.

 

GLOBE BELT MIXER

  • - consistent quality of mix
  • - easy to change the color of the build products during production
  • - reduction of energy costs compared to the planetary mixer
  • - production capacity expandable
  • - plant is large in size

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